Zac Hansen preps for Proud To Run 10K with thousands of other Chicagoans

Tue. June 20, 2017 9:55 PM by Ross Forman

zac hansen

Chicago, IL - Zac Hansen is running the 10K Proud To Run race on Saturday morning, June 24, along with plenty of friends and work colleagues.

Hansen, 37, who lives in Chicago's Edgewater neighborhood, is the content manager for Equity Residential – and the company has a team of 45 runners participating.

"We have 17 employees registered to run the 10K (race) and 31 registered for the 5K," Hansen said. "When we set out to participate in the Proud to Run, I knew we would get a good response, but those numbers were amazing.

"It has been gratifying to see excited registrants from all levels of our organization, from various departments, picking up racing shirts, bibs, and preparing for such a fun day. We have a remarkable team set to run.

"Having such a large team reminds me of the tremendous value Pride events bring to our communities: advocacy and allies. Both are centered on the idea that marginalized, forgotten, stigmatized, or misrepresented groups do not need to stand alone. (Instead), we can stand together – a large, diverse team makes me happy because I see it as concrete steps toward greater inclusion and awareness."

A part of Chicago's Pride Week activities since 1982, Proud to Run is an annual 10K run & 5K run/walk along the lakefront, focused on celebrating pride in a healthy way and raising funds to support the LGBT community. 

In 2016, Proud To Run drew a record turnout of more than 1,700 registrants. Overall, more than 2,100 people participated last year by running, walking, volunteering and sponsoring.

The 2017 Proud to Run 10K is a Chicago Area Runners Association (CARA) Runners' Choice Circuit Race. The beneficiaries from this year's event are: Care2Prevent, Illinois Safe Schools Alliance, Pediatric AIDS Chicago Prevention Institute (PACPI) and the Test Positive Aware Network (TPAN).

Hansen is running his first Proud To Run.

"The best advice I received this year was, 'Remember your why ... why do you run?' I run because I am proud to be part of the LGBTQ community. I (also) run because I want to support great organizations like TPAN and PACPI. I run because I want to be in better shape and have a healthier life. 

"I want 2017 to be my best year yet, and I want to be intentional about how I show up in work, life, and play. The Proud to Run is the perfect opportunity to bring all aspects of what I want to accomplish this year and who I want to be: I want to support causes that are important to me; I want to champion diversity and inclusion with my friends and coworkers; and I want to get in better shape and celebrate fitness and well-being."

Hansen started training for the 10K this past April, coupled with his overall goal of improved physical and mental health. 

"I'm looking forward to every kilometer," Hansen said. "My goals for the Proud to Run (race) include having fun with my friends and co-workers, soaking in the sense of community and Pride that you can only get at events like these ... and of course, finishing the race." 

Calendar: Proud to Run 2017, June 24